Buying Guide for Glass Door Bar Fridges
It’s important to know some relevant information about the product you are considering purchasing. The reason we have developed this buyers guide is that 95% of Retailers, Wholesalers, and Importers fail to provide critical information, listings are scarce on area’s that are vitally important. Display style refrigeration sales have increased greatly over the last 5 years due to the renovation and outdoor alfresco boom, meaning that in a growing industry, few possess the knowledge to assist buyers to make the correct purchasing decision with a glass door fridge. I hope following info at least helps in some way.
Important Facts to Consider
Here are a few tips to make sure you get the right glass door bar fridge for your needs:
Commercial vs Domestic ‐ Glass door fridges are geared up completely differently to a normal household domestic fridge. Glass doors do not possess the same level of insulation as that of a solid door, therefore they have to deal with additional heat entering fridges interior as it makes its way through the glass. This process creates longer compressor running times, and the need for additional hot air to be removed from the cabinet. Fans that perform these functions have to be larger, work harder and work longer, and therefore generate additional noise compared to a domestic fridge. So basically remember a glass door fridge is nothing like domestic.
Workload ‐ Although a lot of our range now has been cleverly geared up for low energy usage, you will still need to treat glass door fridges as a ‘commercial appliance’. These units work hard for long periods of the day and maintenance is a requirement to extend their lifespan. Avoid allowing a front venting glass door fridge to sit for 2 years without any cleaning or maintenance. Think of your unit like a vehicle which runs 24/7 and has a variety of complex parts. Regular cleaning of the condenser/filter, seals, and interior cabinet is extremely important.
Direct Sunlight ‐ Sunlight definitely impedes a fridges performance. It is recommended that the unit is in a covered area and in no way in contact with sunlight or other variables that will heat up the area in which the fridge is to perform. Always aim to place your unit in the best location to avoid burnout and excessive power bills from non‐stop running.
Ventilation ‐ Most of our units are designed to vent 100% from the front, meaning that you can place them in a cabinet with a gap of only a few centimeters around the unit. Each of our listings separately states if the unit is front venting, semi front venting, or free standing. Front venting fridges require air to circulate so that when warm air is vented from the front it can easily rise and clear the unit rather than being sucked back into the cool air inlet. Semi front venting and freestanding units require additional ventilation. Failure to provide the recommended space around a unit will make the fridge work harder, lower its life expectancy, and increase your energy consumption.
Condensation in Humid Areas ‐ It is quite normal for glass door fridges to condensate on outer glass. The higher the relative humidity, the more likely that condensation will form on glass doors. Even if the ambient temperature is mild at 25°C, the relative humidity can be at 80%, meaning that doors will still have low levels of condensation build up. Super hot days in conjunction with high levels of relative humidity bring large levels of condensation to glass doors. A similar effect is a windscreen on a car. Should you live in an area of high humidity (55% RH Plus), then consider the units with Low E tinted glass or Heated Glass to combat this issue, especially if you have expensive flooring that might be damaged by water droplets. Alternately you can wipe down glass doors as the condensation builds up.
Noise Levels ‐ All commercial style fridges make noise. The level of noise and what is perceived as 'noisy' will vary with an individual. Most commercial under counter 1, 2 & 3 door models run between 49 and 55 decibels (Db). A small domestic fridge will run at around 36Db to give a comparison of actual noise.
Power Consumption ‐ One of the most commonly asked questions is how much is it going to cost me? The simplest answer is that a glass door fridge will cost you anywhere from 2 to 6 times what a domestic solid door fridge will cost to run. The variables are many, and it’s amazing to know that some brands use so much energy. It’s basically through lack of engineering prowess and parts used, a cheap factory specification will have poor design, long pull-down rates and cheap parts that cost a lot more to run, combine this with 25oC + and it starts to balloon out to unthinkable costs.
There are many features on the units that we have implemented to save energy so take time to look at these on each listing when making your decision.
Each of our units has a KWh/24Hrs figure in the Main Specifications. This represents the energy (kilowatts) that the fridge will use over 1 full day (24Hrs). It is calculated in most cases where the ambient temperature is 32°C ‐ so the energy used will be considerably less in lower operational temperatures. The cost of A KWh with your electrical provider currently varies from about 0.21c to 0.47c (depending on off-peak, peak demand, and whether you are over quota). Most households can calculate a rate of 0.25c per day per KWh. A unit that draws 2.0KWh/24Hrs will cost 0.50c per day or $182.50 per year to run. Have you seen the big 2 door upright glass fridges in takeaway food shops? These used to draw around 13Wkh/24Hrs. Similar units now draw less than 3KWh/24Hrs ‐ that’s $1186.25 vs $273.75 so you can see that technology with refrigeration has come along in leaps and bounds. We have harnessed every aspect of the development to be geared around saving energy without losing cooling performance.
What you Need to Know
A fridge works and chills much better when it is filled with product. The reason is that the fridge only needs to chill around 25% of the air volume of what it would have to regularly chill if the fridge was empty. When first operating a new fridge, it's best to load it up and let it run flat out for 24Hours without opening the door. This effectively runs it in, and it will then settle into its normal mode where the thermostat will limit the running time of the compressor.
All fridges should NOT BE SWITCHED ON for a minimum of two hours after relocation, transport, or moving. Oil and gas in the compressor is relocated to the walls of narrow piping and ducting. Gravity and a level fridge are a requirement for the oil and gas to return to their operational position. Failure to let a fridge "settle" can result in compressor failure and an expensive repair which is not covered under warranty.
If ambient temperatures rise too high levels (such as 30°C +) your unit will take far longer to chill down. Each unit will also work comparatively harder and require more energy to meet the same chilling levels.
An electronic thermostat control in most commercial fridges has a variance of 4‐7°C. This means that if you set the unit to be 2°C and the variance on the control is 4°C, then it will turn OFF at 2°C, but the air temperature inside the cabinet will need to get to 6°C before it starts up again. The display can often get to 7‐ 8°C before the cooling process kicks in and you may naturally panic, but this is perfectly normal as the probe is measuring the air temperature and not the temperature of your drinks. Without being too technical the air temperature may get to 8°C, but the drinks will only rise about 2 degrees to 4°C from when the compressor cut out, so they will only need a little ‘tickle’ to be back at 2°C.
The compressor cuts in and out as the fridge go through the normal operation of running, and it is not unusual for a compressor to kick on and off up to 10 times per hour. It all depends on how low the temperature is set, the ambient temperature, the variance on the controller, and how many times the door is being opened and closed.
Indoor or Outdoor – One of the most important area’s to talk about, an outdoor refrigerator needs so much more engineering than one designed to run indoors, indoors are generally tested to run at 25oC ambient, whereas for outdoors you need minimum testing at 32oC, we do all our testing at 38oC and 40oC, the difference between 25 and 38 is massive. Consumption and performance in 38oC is nothing like 25oC. There are a lot of units that are really only designed for pubs/clubs/hospitality, to run in 25oC ambient operation, yet they look same/similar as other outdoor units so that average punter buys expecting similar performance, this is the biggest mistake made by far these days. Another factor is if units are built in or not when a fridge is built in, as most alfresco units will be, it needs to be 100% front venting, or it simply will ‘choke’ the system as it tries to disperse the heat produced.
Shipping – It’s very important to read closely about shipping policies, make sure you are covered in any event of breakages, make sure shipping is ‘to your door’ and that you will be notified of the day of delivery.
Warranty – Extremely important understand your warranty conditions, as most online retailers are limited as to what they can and want to do. Ensure you have minimum 12Months Australia Wide Parts and Labour Warranty, this means that for problems in first 12Months the technicians will ‘come to you’.
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